Michael McGeady marked turning 40 in style by winning the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship Irish qualifying event.
Derry-based McGeady, representing Evolve Golf Coaching, carded a five under par round of 67 at The Montgomerie at Carton House.
The former Irish PGA champion and European Challenge Tour player had reached his landmark birthday 10 days earlier and says his golf is also maturing.
Despite his impressive display at the Co Kildare venue, McGeady won by just one shot ahead of Mark Staunton, of Delgany Golf Club, and Greenore Golf Club’s Ian Brennan on a low scoring day.
They and six other qualifiers will now go to Little Aston Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield for the £78,000 grand final which is being held between July 24-27.
“I’m looking forward to playing in the big final now, it’ll be my first time there and Little Aston sounds like a superb course, one I’ve never played so I’m looking forward to that,” he said.
“I’m doing a lot of coaching at the moment, in Derry and Donegal, but I haven’t ruled out playing more Tour golf again.
“I can go to the final with targets but I just want to prepare well for the tournament and see what it brings.
“I’ve just turned 40 and feel that maybe I’ve matured a bit on the golf course. I know my limits but I also know how to get a ball around a course to the best of my ability. I need to manage my game well and, when I do, I tend to score well.”
McGeady admitted he took advantage of the ideal conditions at Carton House.
“They really were perfect, but even if everything is set for a good score, you don’t always get to capitalise on it, but everything seemed to go my way,” he said.
“I had just the one bogey on the 11th hole, I didn’t hit it right and had to take my punishment by getting it out of the bunker.
“But then I made two birdies and got back on track.”
Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship Irish qualifier , Carton House Golf Club (Montgomerie, Par 72)
67 Michael McGeady (Evolve Golf Coaching)
68 Mark Staunton (Delgany Golf Club), Ian Brennan (Greenore Golf Club )
69 Damian Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf ), Brian Doherty (Callan Golf Club ), Joe Dillon (Headfort Golf Club ), Ciaran Molloy (Ardee Golf Club),
70 Mark Whelan (Castlewarden), Colm Moriarty (Glasson Hotel)